Keighley never stopped trying but Heath's weight advantage won them the game.
Heath scored 5 tries to Keighley's 1 in a 32-8 loss.
Heath 32 Keighley 8
A hard game in awful weather conditions. Conceding at least two stones a man in the pack Keighley were always going to find the going difficult and so it proved. The weather dictated how the game was played. Although both teams tried to move the ball, the early stages were dominated by a kicking game. Pressure eventually brought Heath a penalty converted by centre Ezra Hinchliffe. A little latter a break out of defence by full back Joe Copperwaite and some good back up play led to a penalty that allowed Alex Brown the chance to level the score. The game opened up and Heath tried hard to move the ball wide, however, with Keighley’s strong centres Sean Kelly and Adam Horsfall relishing their defensive duties there was little room available. Heath focussing on their strength the pack, gaining good field position and from a line out take and drive second row Seife Boussadda was driven over converted by Hinchliffe. Towards the end of the half a series of scrum infringements led the referee to award Heath a penalty try.
The second half was very much a replay of the first. Keighley were keen at the breakdown and more than holding their own in the line out thanks to excellent work from James Fox and Tom Willson. Unfortunately for Keighley a pass went to ground which gave Heath’s centre Isaiah Spooner a gifted try. Keighley tried hard to get back in the game but they were always going to struggle in the scrum. A Heath scrum on the Keighley five metre line was driven over and number eight Richard Brown touched down. To compound their difficulties Keighley lost two players through injury, however they never gave up trying and a strong run by centre Sean Kelly allowed full back Joe Copperwaite space that led to a try wide out. Towards the end of the game Keighley found themselves scrummaging on their five metre line and once again the outcome was the same, a second try for number eight Brown. Although Keighley suffered a resounding defeat they never gave up trying against quality opposition who on the day were too efficient and powerful up front.
Heath's Website Report:
FINAL SCORE: Heath RUFC 32 vs Keighley RUFC 8
ANOTHER FIVE POINTS IN THE BAG
Heath entertained lowly Keighley in a must win game for the home side as they try to keep the pressure on at the top. Seife Boussadda replaced the unavailable Lee Brown at second row and Richard Brown started as he replaced club captain Ian Downsborough who was on the bench alongside Michael Reynolds and Dave Skinner. The lights came on at the start the game as darkness loomed and there was a steady downpour which hampered play.
Heath kicked off and put pressure on the visitors defence with Dan Cole prominent from the start with some astute kicking. It came as no surprise to see Heath on the score-board after 5 minutes Ezra Hinchliffe converted a penalty, 3-0. Keighley's response was immediate and after missing a penalty attempt on 7 minutes they drew level on 10 minutes as Heath conceded another penalty, 3-3. There was a period of even play as both teams tried to open up defences and following yet another superb kick from Cole to find touch from the line out Boussadda caught the ball and drove over the line for a try, converted by Hinchliffe and a score of 10-3 with 20 minutes played.
Heath were now controlling the game with Chris Moore, Alex McFadden and Richard Brown prominent as they drove forwards and with the Keighley pack struggling Jonny Cole and Jack Crabtree went close to adding to the score. Heath became encamped in the visitors 22 and with Keighley clinging on it came as no surprise to the home supporters to see the referee award a penalty try on 35 minutes to increase Heaths lead to 17-3. Conditions were deteriorating as the heavens opened but Heath kept the pressure on and Keighley were thankful when half time arrived with no further score.
Heath began the second half as they finished the first battering the visitors defence and from a scrum Ezra Hinchliffe received the ball from Peter Birkett and his off-load to Isaiah Spooner saw the centre go over for an unconverted try 22-3 with 45 minutes played.
Keighley managed to get hold of the ball and put some pressure on the Heath defence but when Jason Merrie and Peter Birkett linked well Jonny Cole received the ball to turn defence into attack. Dave Skinner entered the field for Matt Beasty, who had put in a useful stint, and Heath began to build again. The conditions meant Keighley were making mistakes and Heath began to capitalise with Callum Harriett-Brown, Jonny Cole and Seife Boussadda setting up Richard Brown to go over for a bonus point try on 65 minutes, 27-3.
Michael Reynolds replaced Peter Birkett as Keighley snatched a try to reduce the arrears, 27-8, but it was Heath who re-acted well with a well worked try on 75 minutes. Olly Cook linked well with Chris Moore to release the back line and Heath threw the ball about much to the delight of the home crowd. It was entertaining stuff and when Richard Brown scored his second try the crowd were delighted with Heaths efforts and a final score of 32-8. Heath continued to look for more points and with time ticking down a deft kick from Dan Cole saw Olly Cook scoop up the ball to release Jason Merrie but he was held up over the line and the referee blew for full time.
This was another superb all round effort from Heath to secure maximum points and the win sees them move to second spot in the league 4 points behind leaders Moortown. Heath mastered the conditions and played some fluent rugby and now move on to play Selby next week in their final game of 2018.